Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace did his best to make his interview with potential 2016 presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders all about the Democratic frontrunner, Hillary Clinton and to get Sanders to attack Clinton personally, but Sanders wasn't biting.
Every time Wallace asked Sanders about Clinton, he turned it back to his stance on the issues, whether it be campaign finance laws, our rotten trade deals, our tax policies that have enriched the one percent, the race to the bottom on wages or the deterioration of the middle class.
If Sanders does throw his hat into the ring, whether anyone believes he has any chance of actually winning the nomination or not, I think he'll be good for the debate and forcing the candidates to discuss what they plan to do to address the very issues he brought up here. Much to the chagrin of the likes of Chris Wallace, it appears he plans to do that without giving Republicans sound bites to use in their attack ads against Hillary Clinton.
Transcript via Fox:
WALLACE: Senator, you say that you are considering running against Hillary Clinton, among other reasons, because you doubt whether or not she's willing to take on the billionaires in America.
Here's what she said during a rollout in Iowa this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's something wrong when hedge fund managers pay lower tax rates than nurses or the truckers that I saw on I-80 as I was driving here over the last two days.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: Senator, don't you believe her?
SANDERS: Well, she's absolutely right. It's not a question of running against Hillary Clinton or taking on Hillary Clinton.
What we're seeing, Chris, right now is that for 40 years, the American middle class has been disappearing. Millions of people are working longer hours for lower wages despite a huge increase in technology and productivity. And what we have seen during that period is a massive transfer of trillions of dollars from the middle class to the top one-tenth of 1 percent of America -- massive wealth and income inequality, where you have 99 percent of all new income today going to the top 1 percent, and the top one-tenth of 1 percent of America --
WALLACE: But, Senator, you --
SANDERS: -- owning as much as the bottom 90 percent.
WALLACE: If I may, you told Bloomberg you had serious doubts about whether she was willing to take on the billionaire class. What are those doubts?
SANDERS: Well, that's it. Yes, but it's -- my point is, it's not just Hillary Clinton.
WALLACE: I'm asking about Hillary Clinton, though, sir.
SANDERS: The answer -- if I can, please. The answer is that I think that is the fight that we have to wage if we're to save the middle class. And I do have doubts about whether Hillary Clinton or whether any Republican candidate out there is prepared to take on the big money interests who control so much of our economy and as a result of Citizens United, our political process as well.
WALLACE: But Clinton says that she wants to be the champion of the middle class. Again, here she is in Iowa this week.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
HILLARY CLINTON (D), 2016 PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: The deck is still stacked in favor of those already at the top. And there's something wrong with that. There's something wrong when CEOs make 300 times more than the typical worker.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
WALLACE: What does Senator Clinton or Secretary Clinton need to do, Senator, to persuade you that she's the one to take on this fight?
SANDERS: Well, what she said is absolutely right. I mean, I think from a moral issue, CEOs should not be making -- whether it's 270 or 300 times more than their workers are making.
But what we need to do, Chris, is to understand that in America, if we're going to be successful in taking on the billionaire class, we need a strong national grassroots movement.
What the secretary will have to convince the American people is, in fact, based on her past record and views today that she is going to break up the major banks on Wall Street. She is going to ask the wealthiest people in this country to start paying their fair share of taxes. That she's going to end the abomination of major corporations making millions of dollars, stashing their money in the Cayman Islands and not paying a nickel in income tax. That, in fact, she's prepared to deal with this -- our disastrous trade policies. The TPP --
WALLACE: Let me ask you about the trade policy because back when she was secretary of state, Clinton said she favored a trade deal with our 11 Pacific partners and fast track authority to make that happen. That's something Congress is now considering.
Now, Secretary Clinton says she wants to wait and see. Is that an issue for you, vis-a-vis Secretary Clinton?
SANDERS: Oh, Chris, that is -- Chris, you're looking at a guy who was in the House and the Senate, voted against all of these terrible trade agreements, NAFTA, CAFTA, permanent normal trades relations with China. As I'm sure you'll remember, all of the big money interests.
And, by the way, Republicans and Democrats, they say, oh, we'll create all these jobs by having a trade agreement with China. Well, the answer is, they were wrong, wrong, wrong. Over the years, we have lost millions of decent paying jobs. These trade agreements have forced wages down in America so the average worker in America today is working longer hours for lower wages.
WALLACE: So, is that a test --
SANDERS: So, I don't have to wait and see.
WALLACE: Is that a litmus test --
SANDERS: Chris, I'm against this trade --
WALLACE: Is that a litmus test for you, to see whether or not Clinton is going to come out against the TPP?
SANDERS: Well, I -- I know where my view is. I hope very much the secretary comes out against it.
I think we do not need to send more jobs to low wage countries. I think corporate America has to start investing in this country and create decent paying jobs here.